Work and retirement – the two decisions in some of the most important questions that all professionals face. When can you stop working so you can retire? Do I have enough money to retire now or should I keep working? Do I want to work or do I want to retire? What boomers have recently realized, and what they have shown the rest of the professional world, is that these aren’t the only two options.
Credit to the boomer generation for inventing the term semi-retirement, whether they meant to or not. Yes, this isn’t a totally new concept in the working world as many professionals have kept one foot in the business world while giving more time to the other areas of their life. However, under the wave of boomers nearing “retirement age”, this concept has gone from an anomaly to a genuine trend. The appeal to boomers is not hard to see as it offers another option to a very complex decision. But how do you know if it’s the right step to take for yourself?
Don’t misunderstand, retirement is the absolute right decision for some people. While some of us might actually enjoy going to work, others have put in a lot of years and no longer feel a passion for it, so why not step away from it when the timing is right? The problem is that so many boomers are forced to start considering how they will retire long before they have decided if they want to retire. The necessary finances needed to retire is given a lot of focus and for good reason. Even if retirement isn’t a guaranteed move for you, coming up with a solid savings plan is key so you have the option. However, this gets boomers focused on how much they’ll need to retire without considering if they even want to leave their job.
Do you enjoy work?
That’s the first question you should be asking yourself. Is your work something you feel that you need to escape from or do you still have a strong passion for the work you do? For some of us, that need and that desire to keep working will not go away regardless of age. So why retire? If you can still successfully do the job you enjoy, what’s the point of stepping away. These are supposed to be the years in which you get the most out of life, so why take away one of the key factors to giving you a daily purpose?
Yes, there are other things in your life that give you purpose and fulfillment, and some people see retirement as an opportunity to embrace those aspects of life. That’s a fine approach to take with your retirement, but are you considering how you’re going to fill all those hours? Even those among us that are looking forward to retirement, the reality of it can be quite a shock. The enjoyment of free time only lasts for so long before the dreaded boredom kicks in, and boredom in retirement can result in some serious health concerns. A few days at the office each week could help to keep you stimulated and active.
In the end, whether semi-retirement is the way to go depends entirely on you and your circumstances, but remember that it remains an option when the decision between retirement and work seems like a no-win situation.